Academic journal article Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis

Management Elements of the Emergent Metropolitan Areas in a Transition Country. Romania, as Case Study

Academic journal article Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis

Management Elements of the Emergent Metropolitan Areas in a Transition Country. Romania, as Case Study

Article excerpt


The main objective of this study is to demonstrate the difficulties related to the management of the areas tightly connected to cities in case of the states in the transition process from an excessively centralised economy to the market economy. These spaces are in a structural-functional disorder phase, with numerous distortions generated by delays within the institutional construction, as well as the lack of a culture of inter-communal cooperation. The management model of these areas specific to societies in transition, which suddenly changed their political and socio-economic regime, may complete the general management models of the metropolitan areas in a lineal change.

When a culture of inter-communal cooperation lacks, the attitude of each decision factor at local level becomes a break in sustaining the genesis' processes of some coherent metropolitan areas, where the benefits of collaboration are reciprocal. The concrete situation of unsound cooperation within new metropolitan areas of Romania and the experience in promoting the dialogue between the representatives of local communities and of the city, determined us to propose to manage these areas by means of a type of integrated collaboration management, where consensus is the fundamental principle. This type of management may win the reciprocal trust of those who manage each community from the metropolitan areas and leaves free space to the display of enterprise spirit (Harvey 1989) in the unfolding of economic, social, cultural activities etc.

A literature synthesis

The metropolitan area represented an important study subject for the sciences of territorial development during the last decades. The term of emergent metropolitan area was used by Elliot and Perry (1965), who contradicted classical theories regarding the role of the processes of population concentration in the development of new cities and showed that these processes were secondary, reported to the economic processes. Researches demonstrated contradictory processes of structuring/destructuring of metropolitan areas, which took more and more sophisticated spatial shapes. Historical incursion within the metropolitan apparition and development shows a tight connection between this and the dynamics of the production system (Scott 1982). The transition to the fordist economy, where large metropolitan areas were functioning as key elements of mass production towards the post-fordist economy, meant the industry's transfer outside these and the transition to a new type of economy, characterised by a large flexibility. The new cognitive-cultural economy encouraged processes of locational convergence (Scott 2008). Despite the fact distance seems to have disappeared (Hall 1999), digital revolution and telecommunications revolution re-evaluate the importance of geographical proximity in localising the actors who produce knowledge. The effects are visible in the new forms of urbanisation which are registered by such a diverse world at planetary scale, as the urban world.

For the economies in transition from centralised systems to the market economy, it seems that some of the development stages are known by American and West-European economies as skipped or crossed with a very high speed. The impact of the new economy facilitates the almost instantaneous transition from the mass industrial production, extensive, to the new types of activities dominated by the superior tertiary (finances-banks, insurances, IT, research and higher education), by means of which the creative capacities of the employees are valorised. Unlike advanced states, the new types of economic activities revitalize less the town centres and more the suburbs, and especially their metropolitan space, in the countries with an emergent economy (Ianos 2004).

Starting from the case of large cities from Romania, which did not know the classical process of suburbanisation (Nicolae 2002), and being declared closed towns for a few decades, and where economic-social and cultural relationships were dictated from the centre, the accelerated urbanisation around them determined a chaotic expansion of built space (residential, commercial, logistics, IT, productive activities). …

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